The National Kidney Foundation, which serves Maryland and Delaware, will hold its 16th annual Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at The Weinberg Y located at 900 E. 33rd Street in the Waverly neighborhood in Baltimore City.
More than 5,000 people are expected to step up to raise awareness about kidney disease, organ donation and the importance of early screening and a healthy lifestyle for those at risk, according to a news release.
The 9th leading cause of death in the United States, kidney disease affects 9,300 Marylanders. With the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure, the numbers continue to climb, officials said.
This year’s event will again feature the rapper, Freeway, as emcee.
“I was blessed to have two kidney transplants that lasted a total of eight years. During that time, I did not have to receive dialysis treatment. There was light,” said Ray Harris, a 43-year-old from Owings Mills who is on dialysis again awaiting another transplant.
“However, the Kidney Disease bully returned in March 2014. Once again faced with kidney failure, I had no choice but to return to dialysis for the third time,” Harris said. “This time, despite being told I would need a live donor, I refused to be bullied and just exist. My wife and I attend any and all informational seminars and classes. We now bully Kidney Disease together by spreading awareness, giving support, encouraging advocacy and promoting prevention.”
Sadie Chadwick-Carter 53, and a transplant recipient who lives in Glen Burnie, has participated in the Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk since 2011, one year before she received her transplant.
“My team name started out as Team Sadie…because I honestly couldn’t think of anything at the time. I changed the team name in 2013 to Team Victory. Why? I have the victory over the enemy,” Chadwick-Carter said. “In this fight, Kidney Disease is the enemy of my body and my life. I am determined to be victorious. I live, and I walk victoriously in every area of my life.”
Tisha Guthrie, 43, a Kidney Walk Logistics Committee member and captain of “Team Zumba,” has participated in the walk for eight years.
“In 2005, at the age of 30, I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease and I was devastated. No stranger to the trials life has in store, I did my best to wade through the physical and emotional flood,” Guthrie said. “My health continued to decline, and severe intervention was inevitable. As I became acquainted with the wonderful individuals, both patients and staff, at my dialysis clinic, I learned just how many people, ethnicities and age groups are touched by renal disease.”
Sabrina Carter, 42, of Parkville is the mother of a son born with kidney disease and she’s participating for the 6th year.
“My son Tristan’s condition was discovered during my 20-week check-up. My ultrasound revealed that his kidneys were covered with cysts. After Tristan was born, it was discovered that his right kidney had no functions and the left side had decreased function,” Carter said. “Tristan did require surgery at the age of one but has since been stable. His right kidney was completely dissolved by his body and is now considered to have a solitary kidney. I walk to raise awareness for the disease and to promote how important prenatal care is. It saved my child’s life. Today Tristan is an active child. He participates in lots of activities and sports.”
Funds raised from the Kidney Walk will directly support the National Kidney Foundation’s local patient services, education and research efforts.
Participation is free, but donations are encouraged. Everyone who raises a minimum of $100 will receive a commemorative Walk t-shirt. Additional recognition gifts, including jackets, will be award-ed for meeting various fundraising levels.
For online registration, visit www.kidneywalk.org. To learn about sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, call 410-494-8545 to speak with executive director, Pattie Dash.